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Your second grade teacher. Your Rabbi. Your dad. Your best friend. Your first boss. Your college wrestling coach. We all have people in our lives who helped us find our way, who helped us become who we are. Eric Liu explores how powerful life teachers change everyone around them—at work, play, and home—and what we can learn from their wisdom and methods. Every one of us, in every social role we play, is a teacher and a mentor. As he entered fatherhood and a phase of changing ambitions, Eric Liu set out in search of great mentors—people who not only inspire and shape those they come in contact with but also those whose students pass along what they have learned.
What he found surprised even him: a pitching coach for the Seattle Mariners struggling to help a player regain his confidence; a Hollywood acting coach desperate to forge an undisciplined starlet into something great; a young executive whose eye for undeveloped talent enables her to rescue a floundering employee; a legendary jazz pianist who must let his talented sons each find their own voices; a champion high school debate coach whose protégé fails (and thus finds triumph); a public works artist in Los Angeles whose murals create community and inspire long after the paint has dried; a gangland priest who has saved many and yet still must confront the limits of his power to heal.